The quest for life’s meaning has been a constant throughout human history. Finding our personal purpose is essential for our emotional well-being and fulfillment as human beings. This purpose in life, which drives and motivates us day by day, takes on an even greater dimension when it aligns with the purpose of the organization for which we work. When an employee feels that their work contributes to a greater cause, their commitment and performance reach optimal levels, creating a state of “engagement” that benefits both the individual and the company. It’s a win-win situation.

Cisco’s purpose to power an inclusive future for all not only guides the company’s strategy and operations but also inspires its employees to work with passion and dedication. It helps to answer the “Why” question: Why do we do what we do? Aligning personal objectives with corporate ones creates a work environment where people feel part of something bigger than themselves, which is a powerful driver of motivation and commitment. Even better when you can engage the broader ecosystem, not only amplifying the positive impact but deepening business relationships – demonstrating that doing good is good for business.

APO Giving Back Week

During FY23, the Americas Partner Organization (APO) launched an initiative known as “APO Giving Back Week.” The intention was to align efforts and amplify impact by extending the initiative to include our external partner community. Spanning an entire week, the event saw over 20 Cisco champions from cities stretching from Canada to Argentina mobilize employees, contractors, and channel partners. Together, they supported causes and NGOs that addressed local community issues.

The results were impressive: just over 385 Cisco employees and 125 individuals from our channel partner companies contributing more than 1,300 hours of volunteer service, participating in various give-back activities from packing and sorting food parcels at foodbanks; to serving food at hostels and shelters, to litter picking and reading to children and so many other positive things in between.

To inject some added fun and competition, the activity with the highest participation of channel partner employees earned a cash donation for their chosen NGO. Kudos to all the cities and teams that took part, and special congratulations to the teams in Atlanta, Toronto, Mexico City, and San Jose (Costa Rica) for their outstanding involvement and contributions in mobilizing the highest participation of channel partner employees (ePlus and NWN Carousel in Atlanta. Connext and Ikusi in Mexico. Bell Canada and Ingram Micro in Canada. Fusionet and Datasys in Costa Rica) and winning the cash donation of $1,500 each for their chosen NGO.

The innovative aspect of this giving back week was amplifying impact by engaging our channel partners in the US, Canada and LATAM under the global initiative Partnering for Purpose – collaborating with our partners based on shared interests and objectives.

What We Can Achieve Together

Here are some of the amazing results and highlights from the week:

Team Canada: “From Montreal to Vancouver, we had 46 volunteers, including 12 partner volunteers from Bell Canada and Ingram Micro, at four different food banks, moving more than 13,000 pounds of food. Logging 90.5 volunteer hours, equaling $1100+ Canadian Dollars donation!”  

Team Costa Rica: “We collaborated with three of our local partners: DATASYS, CiberC, and Ingram., and not only did we have a positive impact on the environment but helped to bring people together and strengthen the connection between the local community and the environment. Our volunteering was a great example of how small actions can have a big impact on the health of our planet. We collected 20 kilograms of beach litter and planted 30 trees.” 

Team Raleigh: “We harvested food from [a] local community garden, weeded rows of vegetables, and watered garden beds.” 

Team Chicago: “We assembled and provided 200 activity packets and 30 children’s books for hospitalized children at Lurie Children’s Hospital.” 

The experience was so enriching that there are already plans to replicate it in June 2024. Everyone across APO and the Americas is invited to join. These engagements not only reinforce the sense of belonging and commitment of employees to the company but also promote collaboration and teamwork; while strengthening the network of relationships between the company and its partners.

In the end, the alignment of personal purpose with that of the company and collaboration with the community creates a virtuous circle of commitment, performance, and satisfaction for all: individuals, the organization, and the whole ecosystem. Let’s be the bridge.



Learn more about Partnering for Purpose and how you can get involved:

Visit the Partnering for Purpose SalesConnect

Visit us on the Cisco website

Read our stories and Partnering for Purpose blogs


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Fernando Rodriguez

Partner Business Development Manager

Americas Partner Organization